– April 26th, 2013 by Abigail DelVecchio –
Bill Thomas named faculty commencement speaker
Commencement is steadily approaching, much to the excitement and nerves of the graduating class of 2013. This time of year is always filled with questions; questions about what the seniors are doing after graduation, what the year ahead will hold, and what will it feel like to finally graduate? There are several events planned during Senior Week to keep the antsy upperclassmen occupied while awaiting the ceremony. These events include a dinner dance the night before the ceremony, a trip to Boston, and various other daily activities.
This year the keynote speaker is Professor William Thomas of the Natural Sciences Department, winner of the Jack Jensen award. He has been selected to give the farewell speech and to send all the current Seniors off and into the ‘real world’. Thomas has been a professor at Colby-Sawyer College since the fall of 1991, teaching a range of Biology course, specializing in, among many other areas, cellular, molecular, and developmental biology. Currently Thomas is teaching BIO 106, The Chemical and Cellular Basis of Life. Even though he is presently teaching introductory courses, Thomas says, “There is always something to learn, whether it is trying to find different ways to answer peoples’ questions or explaining something to students in class.” Thomas’ honesty and refreshing viewpoint of teaching is one of the many reasons he was chosen to receive the college’s highest teaching honor. Thomas elaborates, “There is always new insight, new connections, and new ways to see things that can give way to even more new insights.” A professor that feels he learns as much from his students as they do from him, after so long spent in the academic world, is truly a precious commodity for Colby-Sawyer College.
Thomas says he is struggling to find “words worth listening to.”. This seems out of character for such an accomplished man as he. However, Thomas explains that such a turning point dictates “nuggets of wisdom” and “musings” about life that will make the graduating class not only listen, but think. Thomas has many things he would like the graduating class to understand, one in particular that stands out, “You make your world. You have the power to do what you want. Make sure you use it well.” He is encouraging everyone, whether they are entering the work force, higher academia, or travelling, to find what you derive passion from and use that fuel to not only reach, but obtain.
The 2013 graduating class receives their diplomas on Saturday May 11 at 10:30 a.m. on the college’s front lawn. Standing room for the ceremony is unlimited, but if the weather does not seem to be cooperating, each student will be provided with six tickets for family and friends. After the ceremony there will be a Post Commencement Reception with various snacks and drinks provided for the students’ guests.